The man suspected of being the brains behind the spectacular robbery on the tarmac at Brussels Airport six years ago has been handed over by France to the Belgian legal authorities. Marc Bertoldi is accused of organising the robbery in February 2013, when armed men dressed in fake police uniforms drover onto the tarmac at Brussels Airport and stole approximately $50 million worth of diamonds which were about to be loaded by Brink’s onto a Swiss airline flight about to take off for Zurich. The robbers had taken advantage of construction work at the airport to allow the to access the tarmac.
The eight men in the two vehicles were armed with assault rifles, but no shots were fired. Security staff handed over the diamonds without resistance, so as not to risk the safety of passengers and crew aboard the aircraft. The two vehicles used in the robbery were later found burned out by the Brussels Ring (photo).
A total of 31 people were arrested in connection with the robbery, but 18 of them were freed in 2018 when a mistrial was declared. They face a new trial some time next year.
Bertoldi will now join them in the dock. A used car salesman based in the South of France, he is in reality a career criminal who was alleged to have been in possession of some of the diamonds from the robbery. He admits he received some diamonds, but denies taking part in the robbery itself. His extradition to Belgium was sought, but he could not be handed over at the time because he was serving a sentence in a French prison for kidnapping.
He will now appear in court on 10 May, his lawyer told the Belga news agency. He remains in custody in the meantime.